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DOL Publishes Proposed Rule on Association Health Plans

On Jan. 5, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register on the expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs). According to a DOL press release, the proposed rule would increase access for small businesses to offer employment-based health insurance through AHPs and give access to 11 million small business employees/sole proprietors and their families who do not have employer-sponsored insurance.  Read the rest of entry »

OSHA Update: Effective Jan. 2 Civil Monetary Penalties Increased for Inflation

Effective Jan. 2, the U.S. Department of Labor increased civil monetary penalties for violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and regulations. According to the OSHA website, the maximum penalty for other-than-serious, serious and failure to abate violations is now $12,934, and the maximum penalty for willful or repeat violations is $129,336.
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Branch & Associates Exec George R. Nash, Jr. Begins Term as ABC National Chair

George R. Nash Jr., director of preconstruction for Branch & Associates in Herndon, Va., began his one-year term as chair of ABC on Jan. 1, 2018. He leads the 21,000-plus member association’s executive committee and board of directors, guides its national initiatives and serves as its spokesperson. Read the rest of entry »

F.L. Crane & Sons Inc. Earns AQC Credential

F.L. Crane & Sons Inc. of Fulton, Miss., a member of ABC’s Mississippi Chapter, has been awarded Accredited Quality Contractor (AQC) status by ABC. The AQC program recognizes and honors construction firms that document their commitment to excellence in five key areas of corporate responsibility: quality, safety, employee benefits, training and community relations. Read the rest of entry »

Nonresidential Construction Spending Ticks Higher in November, Down Year-Over-Year

Nonresidential construction spending expanded 0.6 percent in November, totaling $719.2 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) analysis of data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite the month-over-month expansion, nonresidential spending fell 1.3 percent from November 2016. 
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Construction Unemployment Rates Improve in 36 States as Nation Posts Lowest November Rate on Record

The not seasonally adjusted (NSA) national construction unemployment rate was 5 percent in November, down 0.7 percent from a year ago and the lowest November rate on record, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). The construction industry employed 191,000 more workers than in November 2016. 
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ABC Celebrates Passage of Historic Tax Reform Bill

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) President and CEO Michael D. Bellaman released the following statement after Congress passed The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

“This is a historic day for the construction industry. For too long, ABC’s 21,000-plus members have paid the highest effective tax rate of any sector of the economy. We are a capital-intensive, cash-flow challenged, domestically oriented industry comprised mostly of small, family owned and closely held merit shop construction companies employing hardworking Americans. Our members have waited for Washington to let them keep more money in their paychecks, which would enable them to invest back in their businesses, create new jobs in their communities and grow the economy. The wait is finally over.
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OSHA Issues New and Revised Fact Sheets on Silica

On Dec. 19, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued several fact sheets that provide guidance on the respirable crystalline silica standard for construction. The fact sheets include an overview of the silica standard as well as provide information to help employers comply.  Read the rest of entry »

Recent Important NLRB Decisions and Actions

The National Labor Relations Board recently issued decisions that are favorable to the employer community. On Dec. 14, the Board overruled both the 2015 decision in Browning-Ferris Industries as well as the Lutheran Heritage Village-Livonia case. On Dec. 15, the Board overruled the decision in Specialty Healthcare, which allowed for the formation of so-called 'micro’ bargaining units. Read the rest of entry »

Trump Administration Continues to Roll Back Burdensome Regulations

On Dec. 14, the Trump administration released its Regulatory Plan and Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. The agenda lists upcoming rulemakings and other regulatory actions from each agency that the administration expects to release through the end of the year and in 2018.  Read the rest of entry »